first off didn’t know they were owned by 2 shady conglomerates to begin with. Wonder what that will bring, maybe the Mexican factories will be dumped in favor of Indonesian or Vietnamese builds.
Using “corporate” and “guitars” in the same sentence seems like an oxymoron. Good thing there are tons of boutique instrument makers out there now. You DO have a choice.
I bought a US Gibson for $800 before prices went up, pretty happy with the quality of that one, which considering its siblings in the lower Gibson range, is quite a hit/miss.
What boutique makers would you suggest?
I tried one that absolutely stole my heat but I didn’t pull the trigger fast enough, it was a Gustavsson that sold right under me
Something similar to this but in Pelham blue. Absolutely gorgeous and played like a dream. Kinda a hybrid between a Tele and Les Paul.
I’ve tried quite a few Carvins, now Kiesel, and honestly, haven’t been impressed by them.
I played a Trussard that was a great looker and played rather well, but it had a jangly metallic sound that wasn’t quite to my taste.
I have a Carvin (bought 2nd-hand), and have seen lots of boutique instrument makers out there but haven’t tried them. There are so many mainstream brands there are still a lot of choices there too. Carvin doesn’t get much attention perhaps, but they have been around making quality stuff for a long time, and Steve Vai uses them and endorses them.
With boutique instrument makers, it might make sense to source those locally, unless they have a really good reputation and you don’t mind shipping it off if it needs some work. Since they do lower volume they can be more expensive, but you’re more likely to have a personal relationship with the owner of the business and know what kind of quality goes into the build.
Steve Vai actually dropped Carvin, he hasn’t used their guitars.
Right, he didn’t use their guitars. I think he’s dedicated to the Ibanez GEM for the most part. I didn’t know he dropped them. Maybe because that one amp blew up on stage.
The old Carvin owner died and his 2 sons inherited, Kiesel is one that took the guitar factory and the other one took the PA and amp company and ran it into the ground. They’re barely coming up again, with one overdrive pedal that they designed for Vai last and a few other things. They basically cancelled their whole line of amps, which was actually rather impressive.
I have a Heritage 535, which I love. Heritage was founded by the original Gibson crew in Kalamazoo when Gibson opted to leave for Memphis. Same folks who had built classic Gibsons for a couple of decades, and they kept the same shop and equipment-- Gibson walked away from it all. So it’s like getting a “real” Gibson in that sense. Worth a look!
Good idea, been wanting one of these for a while. Alex Skolnick is playing them, and he gets great tone.
Too bad I am kinda looking at Suhr and Caparison right now, but that’s a different kinda market.
Maybe an user PRS, played quite a few good ones in Hill Country, TX.